The bass compressor pedal is basically used to the moderate volume by compressing the audio signal that goes from the electric bass to the amplifier.
For the most part, the compressor effect is not very noticeable. It is, however, a very useful and popular effect amongst bass players. The bass compressor pedal narrows the dynamic range of the audio signal. What this does is make the sound’s loudness quieter and at the same time make the quietness louder. Overall, compressing the audio signal from your bass to your amp will make your bass playing sound much smoother. The compressor effects pedal is ideal for the “slap and pops” method of bass playing because this style involves big jumps in dynamics.
The bass compressor pedal in some cases is marketed as a bass limiter pedal. Is there a difference? Not really. The truth of the matter is that a limiter is a type of compressor. Without getting too technical, limiting is basically an extreme compression of the audio signal. Whether a pedal says “compressor” or “limiter” on it, doesn’t matter too much. A bass compressor or limiter pedal can work as a true limiter when the “ratio” knob (most compressor/limiter pedals have this, but not all) is turned all the way up.
Check out our guide on bass chorus pedals.